Telling a Story
What we enjoy most is the story, the live drama. No fiction can enrich a person the way someone's real life experiences can. Award winning Australian novelist, short story writer and editor, Carmel Bird said it best, "Life is a crude inventor; fiction will only be as convincing if it is more artful than life." The Family Steffy Oral History Collection is complete with Oceanic life's artful expressions.
Very intimate moments, expressive public laughter, death, and murder create incredible emotion in people. Oral history helps us to understand the human psychology developing in behavioral context.
You must have heard it said before, "It should've happened this way but this is how it really happened." The interviewing process is empowering. The transformation of the interviewee range from initial hesitance to complete release of long held memories is a cathartic experience for them. The Oral Historian is carried along by the release – crying when they cry, happy when they express joy and angry when they express anger. Reliving memories with them.
Archival research is important in placing the Oral History experience in a regional or global historic context.